in the end is the beginning

My hexagon patchwork quilt is finished! A few weeks ago I wrote about the need to finish various projects that had been hanging around for months or years and now another one has been removed from the pile of things to do and set free into household use. It's a lovely feeling... a freedom... a sort of decluttering that somehow unblocks creativity and leads to new things.

I wrote a lot about the quilt once before, so I'll only offer a brief introduction today. If you'd like to hear the story of how it began, over fifteen years ago, and read more about my Granny who inspired it, have a look here.

It's almost certainly the most labour-intensive and time-consuming thing I will ever make... nearly a thousand hand-stitched hexagons and probably a hundred thousand little stitches holding it together.

New and old fabrics including many vintage pieces from family and friends... a pieced binding from the same fabrics... backed with plain white cotton sheeting and cotton batting and then quilted on the machine... otherwise it would never have got finished. Then washed and dried to achieve a lovely, slightly shrunken softness.

It's already much loved and enjoyed... not an heirloom treasure but a proper part of the linen cupboard, a domestic textile to be used and washed and worn and snuggled into.

As a coda to last week's paper giveaway, my mum gave me a huge pile of unwanted art paper today... I love every bit, and it has more than replaced the bundles I gave away. I like how life provides, if we let it, and if we keep things moving round.

22 comments:

Heloise said...

It looks wonderful, something to be very proud of and enjoy for years to come.

Jane said...

A lovely quit of memories. I'm sure it's giving lots of pleasure.

Blueberry Park said...

What a beautiful quilt that already looks like a family heirloom. I'm sure it will be treasured forever

Hollace said...

Wow! Good for you! I'm sure you feel very good about yourself and the finished product right now, deservedly so. Keep at it. I wonder what the next thing will be.

summerfete said...

swooning..

Wild Somerset Child said...

This is so beautiful; it calmed me even as I looked at it, and read your earlier post. Will you feel a sense of loss now it is done and dusted - or will you start another on? I am sure blogging friends would offer scraps of fabric. The only hand-patchwork I completed was a pincushion which I still use, made from half-inch hexagons - that was when I could see properly and could bend my fingers. It as to be machine-stitching now.

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

I love how you describe your newly finished quilt ... real cosiness ... and so wonderful that you will use and enjoy it!

I will let you know when the papers arrive ... thank you :o)

Frances said...

Good evening Sue.

First, may I tell you how much I like the looks of that quilt. Congrats to you on completing it.

I do love the connection it makes between you and your grandmother. That is quite a strong, beautiful memory store.

The other story about how the other quilt was begun and completed is another telling, that's full of life's unfolding and the getting of some sort of knowlege.

I've often felt that anything that we either make ourselves, or know was made by other hands we've known, becomes a valuable object. It is an object with a special petigree. Bet that some in your family will be admiring this new quilt for many years into the future.

What a gift! xo

Claire said...

There's gonna be alot of snugglin goin on under that quilt.

Wow, so much time, love and effort has gone into it and it shows.

Great achievement, well done, just love the binding.

A Time to Dance said...

It looks lovely I would love to see it in all its glory...I am also working through the list 1 more cardigan to knit and then I want a project to use up all my scraps of wool that are left...any ideas???

vicki said...

Sue -
Your quilt is an amazing thing of accomplishment and beauty. Yes it is an heirloom. It is full of memories and made with love and thoughts of favorite people. You have every reason to be proud of this creation. I would just love to touch it----.

I have missed visiting your blog while I have been away. I am so happy to be here once again.

Vicki

Gilly said...

I can say, having seen the quilt, that it is indeed a wondrous thing! I love finding bits of my own, long gone, dresses in it! It brings back so many memories - and giggles!

Diane said...

That is a truely fabulous piece of work. I love patchwork quilts and have started a fair few in my time - only for them to end up as cushions as my patience ran out.

rossichka said...

Many years ago I was impressed by "How to Make an American Quilt" with Winona Rider.We don't have this quilting craft in Bulgaria. I know it has long traditions in England and America. I wanted to try and sew a quilt... For that reason I followed the special quilting blog of an American lady: www.how-to-quilt.com. I read a lot, but didn't have time to practise - so I postponed my dream for a more suitable moment in future.
I find your quilt beautiful, relaxing, cheerful and tempting to snuggle down! You must be relieved and happy - you've enriched the family history...:)

Heather said...

Oh goodness, it is so lovely! Congrats on getting it done! I love the fabrics and colors you used. Beautifully done~

Rubyred said...

It's absolutely beautiful! Well done you!
Have a lovely day!
Rachel x

la z'idiote said...

You can be proud ! It's an enormous work... Les tissus sont magnifiques !

Jackie said...

Nature, and Mums, abhor a vacuum!
I understand the work in a hexagon patchwork quilt..I made one when I was 24, teaching in a high school with lots of free periods..ah those were the days!

ljw said...

The quilt is lovely. I'm no seamstress, but I did a little bit of patchwork many moons ago when I was a student to help relax while revising. It was very soothing. I still have the very small runner that I made. The cushion has long gone.

janis said...

Your work is quite beautiful, and your blog is such an inspiring and peaceful place to visit - xo

caireen said...

Wow - that quilt looks lovely, well done in completing it! I have been thinking of a handsewn hexagon quilt for sometime, but almost hesitant, because if I start, it will take a long time and then I must finish! I wonder if quilt projects reflect other completions in our lives, as suddenly they can just be done, can't they? Cx

Amy Prior said...

so beautiful; made with love